By George Rose
September 15, 2009
Until November, Netflix will be my new best friend. There is always a personal favorite waiting to be watched again and plenty of unseen classics to help restore faith. In fact, there are still some late-summer movies in theaters that you'd be lucky to catch too. If Hollywood is going to try and con us into watching their September slate (really Sandra, All About Steve? Sigh.) we'll just go elsewhere for quality entertainment.
But what to watch? So many long lost titles to chose from and so little time. That's probably why you're reading this article right now. Need a few suggestions? Finally found five minutes to relax and decided to watch a movie? I can't promise our tastes will be the same but I can promise they will all be better than last weekend's Sorority Row. While Hollywood may have betrayed us by releasing it, the $5 million it made has restored some of my faith in the movie-going public. Keep up the good work, everyone, and enjoy these titles. You might need them to survive the next few weeks at the empty Cineplex.
District 9 (2009)
I know you can't help yourself. I sure can't. Even with all the fall garbage coming out, I feel compelled to be at the movie theater. Those big seats, that bottomless popcorn, that massive screen! How do some people resist? But if you insist on going to the movies, you should at least see something worthwhile. I know it can feel awkward when you ask the ticket sales person for admission to a movie that came out several weeks ago but some movies are worth jumping on the bandwagon a little late. District 9 is one of those movies.
The movie was advertised as a war movie following the integration of aliens as habitants on this planet. Twenty years prior to modern day, a harmless spaceship was discovered over Africa. The creatures – known as "prawns" for their resemblance – that were inside now live in slums and have developed lifestyles similar to our own. From the commercials, I was led to believe a prawn rebellion was on the way in an attempt to flee back to their home planet. This could not be further from the truth.
If anything, it's the government that creates chaos first after they attempt to relocate the prawns to another more controlled district. The way the movie is filmed captures the modern warfare feel perfectly, using interviews, on-site newscasting, and even flashes to the perspective of the aliens, which is often touching. You really start to feel compassion for the once-feared extraterrestrials as they are given a much more civil nature compared to other alien invasion movies. But the story isn't even really about them; it's about one government agent who becomes exposed to some alien biotechnology and his quest to stop his transformation into a prawn.
As one of the first movies I missed while on vacation, I was pleasantly surprised by the accuracy of all the hype surrounding this movie. Its story is fast-paced and riveting with the agent's search for a cure at the core, but it's the relationship with his wife that humanizes it all and aids the viewer in making a deeper connection. Not only do we follow the fugitive agent through the slums, but we get to watch the rise and fall of his love story as he slowly transforms. It's one of those rare sci-fi movies that incorporates themes and storylines that can also attract women, an idea the genre might want to take note of. Because of its universal appeal, and breathtaking action and special effects, I highly recommend everyone see this in theaters while it's still out. And really, it's September – what else could you possibly want to see?